Hello my friends and Family,

Greetings once again from fantastic Hanoi. I have been in Vietnam now for 11 days, and I have enjoyed every single day of my adventure here.  Yahooooooooo!

Several of you mentioned that my last post, ‘It’s Not My Problem… ‘Cause I’m In Vietnam‘, was a bit too vulgar.  Maybe I used the word ‘crap’ a few too many times, and maybe I bad-mouthed Nicolas Cage and Egypt too much.  Maybe my Lexpedition is a bit too racy for kids and my sweet nieces and nephews.  Maybe you want something a little bit more rated ‘G’ and kid-friendly?

Anycrap, I will start this Lexpedition update with a nice story for all age groups…

Once upon a time there was a beautiful Princess who rode a magical unicorn.  She loved to catch butterflies and ride around on her unicorn and look for rainbows.  She met a Leprechaun, who gave her a pot of gold and some Lucky Charms.  She did not club baby seals. One day the unicorn kissed an ugly frog.  Then the frog turned into an even uglier frog that looked very much like Nicolas Cage. The beautiful Princess flew into the sunset on her unicorn. And then there was another beautiful double rainbow. The End.

OK. Now you kids go to sleep. Good night.

Adults, please scroll down to continue this article…

I ate dog the other day. Not a whole dog. Just some dog meat and some entrails and liver.  But first a bit of recent history…

I generally do not eat meat.  I try to eat healthy stuff.  When I was living in Louisville I usually went to yoga 5 times a week (thank you Kristi and Holly and Joy!)  And in October 2010 I did another fasting cleanse based on Dr. Steven Bailey’s book, “The Fasting Diet.”  For the first 6 days I ate only organic raw fruits and vegetables, and I drank lots of freshly-squeezed organic juices.  For the final 10 days I did not eat a single morsel of food, just lots of great fresh juice.

At the end of this process, I felt absolutely amazing.  My knee joint pain was gone, I had unbelievable amounts of energy and clarity, and I lost about 12 pounds in 3 weeks.  I highly recommend this cleansing program if you want to give your body and soul a restoring and cathartic break from the norm.

So fast forward about 3 months to January 2011. Hanoi, Vietnam.

I ate dog. Normally, when I am traveling in developing countries, I am very careful not to eat salads or uncooked vegetables or cold dishes. I drink only bottled water (or coffee or beer.) I only eat things that I think are safe and healthy.

But for some reason, a few days ago, I ate dog.  They call it Tiht Cho here, which means ‘dog meat’. There are lots of dog meat restaurants here in Vietnam, it’s not just a myth. I ate dog with my new local friend, Mr. Dat.  I can honestly say I did not like it.  The ‘restaurant’ was dirty, the dog meat was stored outside on the curb in an unrefrigerated glass display case, and the dog meat was served cold.

I had a few pieces of cold dog meat. It tasted like dark turkey meat, only doggier. I had a bite of dog liver. And a sample of dog entrails.  I was drinking a warm beer to wash it down, and even that could not kill the taste or wash away the images in my mind. I had another warm beer. Still, the taste and images prevailed.

We had a family dog named Brandy when I was growing up, but we did not eat her. We had two dogs in Phoenix named Felix The Cat (a girl dog) and Grommet (boy dog), but they died from natural causes, not because I ate them.

It took almost two days and a few pots of coffee and many beers (and countless times brushing my teeth) before the peculiar/awful taste was gone from my mouth and throat.

Here are some photos of my adventure eating dog… Don’t judge me!

A view of the dog meat restaurant from the outside.  Notice that the sign shows ‘Tiger’.  They don’t actually serve tiger meat here. That’s a popular beer, imported from Singapore. I believe serving tiger meat is illegal, immoral and disgusting. And it’s really hard and dangerous to catch a tiger.  Dogs are easier to catch.  Just hold out your hand and offer them some meat. Then catch them and eat them.

A view from inside the restaurant. The dining area was only slightly dirtier than the bathroom. No one in their right mind would even eat in a restaurant like this, much less unrefrigerated dog meat!  On the positive side, they had free valet parking for our moto scooter.

The unrefrigerated display case out on the curb. I am not sure what breed of dog it was, and I don’t want to know. It’s not like I am ever gonna try a different breed or become a dog meat reviewer for a newspaper… ‘Try the Dalmation here, it’s magnificent. But stay away from the Poodle… it’s tough and unimaginative.”

And finally, here is my plate of dog. Meat. Entrails. Liver. And I think that’s ginger in the front, to cleanse the palate between bites. Just looking at this almost makes that nasty taste return to my mouth.  I did not eat it all.  And no, I did not ask for a Doggie Bag.

I guess you are wondering why in the Heck I would eat dog in Vietnam? Simple.  All of the good dog places in the U.S. have gone out of business. Am I gonna eat rat in Vietnam?  Of course not… I’m saving that for when I get to Laos.

Am I a dog lover? Yes and no.  I love playing with dogs, maybe playing fetch or throwing a Frisbee to them.  I love scratching their belly or behind their ears. If they are clean, I will let them lick the side of my face. I love other people’s dogs, as long as they don’t jump up on me.  But I don’t love to eat them.

Now I’m going to go shave my tongue and load up on Pepto Bismol.  And I surely hope you did not let your kids read this.  Kids, if you actually did read this, please hear me loud and clear… don’t eat dog!  That’s for adults only.

I leave Hanoi tonight on a sleeper train up toward the border with China.  I’ll try to write another update soon.  In the meantime, please keep the emails and comments coming, especially the funny ones.  I’m having a blast and am being very careful (except for the eating dog part.)

And I hope you noticed that I did not mention Egypt even once in this entire update.

Peace out from Vietnam,

Lex Latkovski
President of the Little Hill People
Inventor of the Calf Muscle

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11 Responses

    • Lex

      Hey Sherrif Shelly,
      I bet the neighborhood is super boring without me?
      Don’t worry, I won’t eat Pumpkin or Pippin or Dig Dog when I get back… I only eat dog in Asia.
      You know how you eat an elephant?
      One bite at a time!
      I miss you. ‘Cause you rock!
      xoxo LexO

  1. Holly Holland

    Hello boy wonder: Love the writing. Vivid and pungent — oh, maybe that’s just the smell of cold dog meat. What a way to kill a vegetarian’s appetite. I think I need that fasting diet just to get the images out of my mind. Good thing you can sweat easily over there. Time to purge in as many ways as possible.
    Thanks for the “hey” about yoga. I “gong” you and nod to Hanuman every time I practice yoga in my home studio. Rocket misses you. We all miss you. Savor every delicacy and thanks for letting us ride along on your adventure. Namaste! Holly

  2. Soham

    Did you notice if the cook washed his hands?? :). FYI kids enjoy vulgar comments–it helps them sleep. :>

  3. DomO

    You are nuts, bro! Did you really eat that crap?? You’re gonna get rabies! That being said, we really like the photos, but it would be even better if you had taken a picture of you biting into dog meat. You are a funny writer, but I think you are even funnier in person. When are you performing at the Comedy Caravan? On a personal note, what’s the dong up to today??
    Have fun and be safe!
    DomO the DomO

    • Lex

      Thanks Dom-O the Dom-O,
      I think I’m funnier in person too (wait for laughter to subside….)
      Seriously, if you think I’m funny, you should see what it’s like inside my skull all day. Only 4% of the funny stuff actually leaves my mouth or hits the keyboard. The other 28% gets lost somewhere. I was never good at math. And I stunk at probablitity and statistics. Did I tell you that about 18 of the 7 people in my Prob/Stats class at Vandy were having trouble too? Wow! That’s almost half! Give Foop, Gracie, Q McGoo and Baby Rock a big hug for me.
      I miss you bro!
      Uncle Lex

  4. Christian Nys

    Dude, you rock! I get it. I’d do the same thing … of course eat dog, once, why not?! It’s a frickin’ adventure, right!!!! I applaud your guts, though they don’t sound too much like applauding right now. Please be sure to update us about rat fricasee from Laos 🙂 LOVE YOU MAN, Christian.

    • Lex

      Hey Christian,
      You rock the MF Kasbah!
      Speaking of rat, I saw rats, mice, possums, squirrels, porcupines, frogs, eels, snakes, and a small fox here in the market tonight in Phonsavan, Laos. Some live, some dead, all for sale/consumption.
      Not saying I’m gonna eat that crap. Well, OK, maybe some of it. Once. I love you too, dude!

  5. Doug

    This just confirms that Smoki knew all along what kind of person you were when he tried to bite you while delivering the newspaper to our house!

    • Lex

      Good thing you were always nice to me, or I would have thrown your newspaper in the bushes and had Smoki for dinner. 🙂